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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  July 18, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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the idea that we don't need a constitutional amendment to do our jobs. i look to the constitution itself. article 5 of the constitution, the first phrase there is pretty clear. quote, the congress, whenever 2/3 of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution. i'd say it's our duty, when we deem it necessary, to go ahead and propound constitutional amendments to solve various problems here that we think need to be addressed within our federal government. so, first we are duty-bound to put forward such a solution. second, history bears out, there are many examples where institutionally or culturally or historically the time has arisen for certain movements in our way of government. so we put forth amendments like the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. i think it's a fine thing. i think it was important that congress put forward amendments
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to guarantee womens' right to -- women's right to vote, it was necessary to put forth that amendment. just as it's necessary to put forth a constitutional balanced budget amendment. i guess the final thing i would say, it's necessary to pass a balanced budget amendment as part of the cut, cap and balance act of 2011 because it's the only viable plan we have on the table now. what is the president's plan to get our budget back in balance. i ask that time and again and have not seen any sort of acceptable answer. we need to bind the hands of our political class. i think this cut, cap, and balance which my colleagues have been speaking to is a very responsible direction to go and i commend it for the consideration of my friends across the aisle as well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i -- mr. franks: i have friends who
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say, why aren't you explaining these things in the media better and telling us about these critical issues? and oftentimes we do, and the media sometimes ignore it or the people don't have the advantage of hearing what we say. and i hope that doesn't happen to this bill, madam speaker, because i truly believe that the american people could just read the cut, cap and balance legislation, that they would understand how profoundly reasonable it really is. all it says is that we are going to cut our budget at least as much as we raise the debt ceiling and that we're going to put some steps in place to begin to rein in the spending of this government in a real way and as we go forward, we index the spending of this nation with a certain percentage of the gross domestic product or the amount of productivity of our nation.
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madam speaker, that is so reasonable, because that creates a great deal of incentive on the part of the federal government to see all people in our society be successful and see everyone gain and accumulate wealth from the janitor from the senator. and it says we need a balanced budget amendment to our constitution. i have the privilege of being the chairman of the subcommittee on the constitution in this place. and i would suggest to you that the balanced budget amendment seems so intuetive. all budgets have to balance. i have to two little babies and they have piggy banks and they know if they take more out of it than they put in it, it goes empty. why is something so fundamental and basic per vades government,
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but it seems to. somehow because we have verbal communication and the people won't know what we are talking about. that is so tragic, a reality is still in place that says if we live outside our means, the entire system begins to collapse and that's where we are. people are losing confidence in their government and i'm concerned because i believe that -- someone said to me if all of the gold in for the -- fort knox, nothing would change in the "wall street journal." if someone put out a press release fl fort knox was stolen
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but the gold was stolen, that gold markets across the planet would crash because people's perception, their confidence in the system is vital to the system. and right now people are losing confidence in our system. and i think there are few things that threaten us more. a default is not going to happen on august 2 unless the president chooses to ash temporarily force that to happen. but the markets will say maybe the congress of the united states just doesn't have the courage to do the right thing and maybe they are going to let politics intervene to the sfent that they are going to step back and not do what is necessary to stabilize the economic foundation of this nation and that is so tragic because it doesn't have to be this way. this cut, cap and balance bill
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can accomplish everything that is reasonable and we recognize the challenges that we face in this country today. we recognize that we have overspent and recognize that our country is low. we recognize that we are not working on full employment. we recognize that the markets don't know whether to jump or go blind and don't know what this president is going to do next. and if we put this cut, cap and balance bill in place, all of a sudden, the markets of the world, the person on the street will realize maybe there is hope. maybe america is going to forward and do what she was destinned to do and continue to be that great city on a hill that ronald reagan spoke of. i believe it can be that way. i'm afraid that people won't understand what is in this bill. in all due deference and respect to the president of the united
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states, his plan is incumbent upon the people not understanding what it is and the republican plan is incumbent upon the people understanding what is in the bill. and i so hope that the people are able to truly get the information that they need to understand what this bill is all about rather than letting the left-wing media distort it. i hope tomorrow when we vote, that we will recognize something else as people in this place, that all too soon, we will step from these chambers one by one and that our time here will be past and only those things that we did that truly honored our god, our country and fellow human beings will really matter at that point. and i hope we realize we won't have too many votes like this in our career that can make a
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future for our generations. and great societies come when old man plant trees under whose shade they will never sit. i hope we look to the next generation and look to the next few days and weeks because what we do is going to send a message to the markets the world over, if you are an investor and saw a company that continued to deficit spend and continued to get in debt beyond its means and continued to carelessly spend, would you invest in that company? i think that's what our country has to ask ourselves. and i truly believe that we're going to have a chance tomorrow that may be very unique in our careers and it's possible that a lot of people are going to suck couple to the need -- succumb to
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certain special interest groups. popularity is history's pocket change. it's courage that is the frue currency of history and we have a chance to be courageous. we have a chance to do what's right to stabilize this country today and tomorrow, we have a chance to make sure our future generations walk in the light of freedom. i have a chance as a father to do what i believe is truly right for my children and they might grow up and walk in the light of freedom as i have. if we do this, i believe the people will applaud us in the long run. there may be certain exceptions in the short-term, but in the long run they will look back and say those people who stood up and voted for the ball answered budget amendment and will look at that as a historic turning
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point. and i want to see that happen. i would say to you again that all budgets do balance and the equation before us today are we going to balance the budget or is reality going to balance it in a who are filing way for us. for the sake of my children and future generations and all for the fake of making sure we are great stewards for the great nation that god has given to this planet, i hope we do the right thing tomorrow. with that, i yield to the gentleman from indiana. mr. young: i thank my colleague from arizona and there are a couple of things that i would like to pivot off of it. market steel perception, that is a great reality like fort knox, the gold being taken, reminds me
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of a conversation i had on the airplane as i headed back to washington. sitting next to someone who dealt in the financial markets and i asked him a fairly pointed question and i said the media in recent days, recent weeks has ratcheted up tension, even anxiety with respect to the debt limit debate and whether or not the debt limit is going to be raised, what is going to be attached to a debt ceiling vote. i take this vote very seriously and factored into my calculation of voting for or against various measures. but the funny thing is there hasn't bench of an interest rate response. for all the hem and hawing about what might happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling, there hasn't been an interest rate response. i asked my friend why why he thought that was and he put
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forth one idea and he said certainly, todd, these are complicated matters and in his professional opinion, one reason was that we finally have a group of people in washington who are taken seriously this notion that we ought not to spend more money than we bring in. and that's powerful. and i'm proud to be part of this group of people to support this measure that would bring our spending under control. that's an early victory. the markets believe we are about getting the spending under control and hope we can play this out and we are serious. and the other thing that my colleague said was this notion that statesmen look not just to the next election but the next generation. there was a group of people back 150 years ago, around the 1850's
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and entered politics looking to the next generation and it was their belief every man, woman and child should be entitled to the fruits of their labor. they weren't partisan. they were no-nothings and independents, some democrats. they came together that everyone should be entitled to the fruits of their labor. when we continue to spend money that we don't have often on things we don't need and kick the debt another five years, 10 years, another generation or two down the road, ladies and gentlemen, we are committing the fruits of the next generation's labor to pay off our current debts. i think this is wrong. i think this cut, cap and balance plan is a viable plan to stop this practice so that everyone, my four children and everyone else's grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not
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be paying off our future debts. again, i urge consideration and support of this cut, cap and balance plan. and those who don't support it, i ask them to put a plan of their own and put this nation back on the right fiscal course. and with that, i yield back. mr. franks: may i inquire as to the remainder of the time? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five minutes re maining -- remaining. mr. franks: let me close with these thoughts. there are a lot of people that have sacrificed for this nation. there are a lot of people lying out in arlington national cemetery tonight and i wonder what their perspective would be if they could come back among us. while none of us know that, they didn't die so we could spend our
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country into bankruptcy so we could weaken our nation on all fronts because we weren't fiscally responsible. and they didn't die that we could put ourselves so deeply in debt and sent tens of thousands for each child born today they would have to carry that for the rest of their lives. they wanted to see every person not only in america but ultimately in the world to be able to be born and lay hold on the miracle of life and to be free and to pursue their dreams. that's what they wanted. and sometimes i'm so afraid we have gotten away from that vision to the extent that we have grown sort of callous and cynical. and i hope that we can revisit those ideals tomorrow and we can
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force ourselves to remember that all of history and all the future is watching us and that what we do here tomorrow could mean the difference for america for decades and generations to come. and i believe if we do the right thing, that the moments in an old aged home will be livable because we will look back and say that's what we did and that's the right thing. and i hope we do ta for the sake of my children, for the sake of america's children and for the children throughout the world that can still be touched by the message of this, the greatest republic in the history of humanity. and madam and madam chair, if we will protect our economic base, if we will protect the things that make us who we are, i believe
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this government will have all the revenue we need and we will go forward to be more productive than we've ever been and i believe that america still has great things in the world to do. and i hope we make sure that that occurs. with that, with great respect, madam speaker, i yield back the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentlewoman from the virgin islands, mrs. christensen, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mrs. christensen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to be here this evening once again with my congressional black caucus colleagues to talk about the need for jobs, jobs, and more jobs and how we ought to be dealing with the debt limit and our debt crisis. let me begin with jobs. that's not a new topic for the congressional black caucus.
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our communities unfortunately have a long-term history of unemployment. every year that i have been here, and i'm sure for the 40 years of our existence, job creation has been a priority and that includes summer jobs for our young people, something we still have not been able to get the congress to recognize and fund as critical to the well being of our young people and our community. in this congress alone, c.b.c. members have introduced job creating pieces of legislation. need i remind you that the republican leadership has still today done nothing to create one job. meanwhile, unemployment remains a crisis in our country and in the african-american community, it is a catastrophe. and where is the patriotism of our corporations who are sitting on billions of dollars and still not hiring. i would say if there's uncertainty in that sector, the
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corporate sector, welcome to the club. as the gentleman from arizona said, lack of confidence. but because of this lack of confidence in the corporate sector, the banking sector and on wall street has got to do more with the gridlock, i think, caused by the republican leadership who won't even consider the balanced approach that the president is asking us to take. all this time the rest of the world is looking at us, watching this sorry mess we're calling governing. i can't imagine that our allies and those countries around the world that look to us for leadership have much confidence in us either right now. i'm pleased to be joined this evening, madam speaker, by several of my colleagues but i'd like to begin first to yield such time as he might consume to a reverend, the former mayor of kansas city, now our distinguished leader of the congressional black caucus, congressman emanuel cleaver.
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mr. cleaver: madam speaker, let me first of all express appreciation to congresswoman donna christensen, dr. donna christensen, for how she has put forth boundless energy making sure that we keep this issue of joblessness in front of us. let me first of all say, i did two interviews in the votes today, one with abc news, an as i stood before the cameras, they showed me two comments, one from a gentleman who said that he was so disgusted with congress because nothing is being done and he believed that we needed to start trying to deal with the problems. he thought that we should not be raising the taxes on what he called ordinary people or low-income working people. the other interview i did on fox was an interview where i
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was interviewed about the joblessness among african-americans. i think both of those intersect. the reason for this is i said to people that as a democrat i was embarrassed that during the last session of congress, we failed to listen to the american public. the public said they were interested in jobs. i would go home to my district in kansas city, missouri and people would simply talk about the need for jobs. i would come back to washington and the only thing we talked about was health care. and health care was important, i supported it, it was not the bill i wanted it but i supported it anyway and many of us supported it because of the way in which you, dr. christensen, as a physician, presented us with how valuable it would be. but the point is, we never, ever dealt with jobs.
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we are now into our 100 -- 194th day into this congress and i'm sorry and i am embarrassed that we have not created one single job. african-american unemployment is at 16.2%. if you use what the labor department uses to factor real unemployment, it's called u-6, the alphabet u, the number 6. the u-6 unemployment for african-americans is at 30%. this is higher than the depression. the 1929 fall of wall street created unemployment that devastated not only this country but the entire world. i am saying here on the floor in this sacred well that
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african-american unemployment is at a crisis level. why would that be important to somebody who is not african-american or who lives in a community where there are no african-americans? in the first place we ought to be concerned about all americans period and the day i'm not concerned with all americans, i want that to be my last day in this body. i would say at this point, the congressional district from which i come is only 18% african-american. but the people of good will in my district understand that all americans should have equal access to jobs. the plethora of reasons for the african-american unemployment being so high, i won't get into all of them, but i want to tell you that if we had unemployment among any group in america,
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whether they were news anchors, with they were comedians, no matter what the group, i think that this country would be in a crisis mode. we would have commissions. we would have the top economists and labor experts becoming involved, trying to figure out how can we erase or reduce the level of unemployment among this particular group unemployment is at 9.2% with all americans. that is unacceptable in the most powerful industrialized technological -- in the most powerful, industrialized, technologically advanced nation on the planet. 9.2 is unacceptable. 16.2% is sinful, it is sinful in this country. i believe that we've got to figure out ways in which we can get something done. one of the gentlemen said
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during the pre-interview with me that he believed that, to quote it exactly, he said, congress is broke. it pains me, i've got to tell you, i think he's right. i think it is a broken body. but the public has participated. the public is culpable as well. and it is this. we have people who run thermonuclear campaigns and instead of public people saying, anybody who would run a nasty campaign is going to be nasty when they get in office so i'm not going to vote for him or her, that's not what the public says. they cheer they rah-rah this negativity on, and the people who do that on both sides end up in this body and they escalate it with more
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publicity. until the united states citizenry comes to the conclusion that they are sick and tired of what's going on and begin to punish people for being nasty, it's going to get worse and worse and worse and i would love to be able to someday close my eyes for the sleep among the elders and believe before i go that the united states of america will fronet my children and their children and even their progeny a state that has opened up opportunities to everyone and a state where the government works. we cannot get anything done because anybody who raises their head and presents something, they belong to the wrong party, they're not going to get recognized and nothing is going to get done. republicans do it. democrats do it. it's wrong no matter who does it.
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and what we are facing right now is a situation that is grave. and i don't even think the republican nor democratic parties in this body understand that we can't simply go as we are going. we're talking about the debt ceiling. it has to be raised. it is ridiculous to say that we shouldn't raise it. i sit in my apartment across the street if the capitol at night looking at television and listening to people who know better say that it's all right, it's no problem, we can let the debt ceiling remain under the $14.3 trillion an nothing cataclysmic will happen and they know better. i would feel a lot better if people would say something and didn't mean it, you know, and -- and really meant it because they didn't know better. but they do know better but many in the public don't so they think, no big deal.
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if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we can't pay 60% of our debts. but we've got to make some concrete choices on who gets that 60%. and no matter who gets it, it will create a cat clizz. for the united states and perhaps the -- a cataclysm for the united states and perhaps the entire world. italy, spain, greece, ireland are already in trouble in europe, an they don't have central banks like we have the federal reserve so to some degree we can have an auction of treasury notes and bring in revenue, they don't. if we end up having a very, very serious economic problem in this country, it's going to trigger a worldwide recession. nobody wins. nobody comes out on top if this happens. and the unemployment numbers, 9.2%, they're going to rise. i don't want people looking at
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this tonight or any of my colleagues believing that those are my numbers or that i'm the only one who believes there's going to be trouble. ben bernanke, re-appointed by george bush, says if we make deep cuts in the u.s. budget, it is going to create a problem because right now the only money that is going into the u.s. economy, into the g.d.p. and the economic activity is coming from the united states federal government. if you begin to cut back drastically, it cannot help but raise the unemployment numbers. and if we fool around and fail to raise the dealt ceiling or just walk to the cliff, walk to the edge, walk to the precipice of the bond rating agencies who also already warned us these are not democratic bond raising agencies, these are not congressional black caucus bond rating agencies, these are not
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republican bond rating agency, they're the bond rating agent jis of the united states, they tell us when we're in trouble or in good stead, they said if you walk to the precipice, we're going to end up getting in trouble because they're going to downgrade our bond rating. what does that mean? well, it means that the interest rates are going to rise. china is our number one creditor, external. most people think we owe more money to foreign governments than we owe any place else, which is not true the majority of the debt is held by citizens of the united states. china is number one outside the country and then japan. well, china has no other place to make investments, so that's to our advantage. japan has nowhere else to make investments, that's to our advantage. but they're going to say to us, look, you guys are not piing your bills. if you're -- are not paying your bills.
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if you're not going to pay your bills, it's a greater risk to us. when that happens, they're going to raise the interest rates, and if that happens, they'll raise the interest rates in banks and anywhere else we secret. that's going to create a problem. i don't understand how and why we have allowed all this false information to go out about how this will not matter and nothing is going to happen. . it has to do with partisanship. and in this town, in this place, we allow ideology to trump everything, everything. and i don't understand how anybody can come to this place and say i come here so i don't have to compromise. you have to compromise. there isn't a person who doesn't understand the word compromise. if they don't understand the
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word compromise, they don't understand the word divorce. what we have to understand here, we are going to divorce this nation, one side red, one side blue, one side right, one side left and we can't consolidate. let me just say a couple of other things and i'm through, madam speaker, and that is if i can go back to the jobs issue for just a moment. we know that only 18,000 jobs were created in the united states last month. we need 233,000 jobs each month to be created in the united states. why? because that's about the number of new employees or people seeking work coming into the work market, so we have to create jobs.
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now, people who were laid off of work three, four years ago and haven't found work, if the economy broke tomorrow and we were allowed to begin to see hiring in the major corporations , the 10 employees who were laid off three, four years ago, would be three, four employees called back to work. why? technology is advancing. and where we needed 10 line workers, we only need two, three workers today. we have to educate the work force. what does that mean? if we don't educate the work force in the united states that means the imbalance of trade with other countries is going to rise because other nations are going to be able to provide what we can't provide and they are going to do it at a lower cost. we have to compete with india,
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china, japan and indonesia and viet na -- vietnam. if we don't, other businesses will compete abroad. a lot of those jobs that those positions were held by african americans. we need to retool the american work force and let me tell you why there are numbers that are disproportionate with african americans. i don't want people doing what they did in the last 400 years. they say because they don't want to work and we have heard that unfortunately over the years. the only reason we know what the numbers are are because those are the individuals who are out seeking work and that's how we know that the unemployment numbers are what theyr but keep
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in mind, nobody probably thinks about this, every time you read about a state laying off workers , a municipality laying off firefighters or police officers or if you find any government agency laying off, it means that the number of african americans who are unemployed will rise and the reason for that is african americans disproportionately seek work in the government. we have done that because it was believed if you work for the government, the chances are least likely for you to be discriminated against. and you see all of these state layoffs all over the country and i want people to realize when you see those numbers, please understand that a disproportionate number of them are african american. now while we are here fiddling
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instead of trying to deal with real problems in this country, there are people with real problems. they don't have a job. i'm willing to compromise. i'm willing to compromise. i have already compromised. when my father turned 89 years old last friday and thank god, i'm happy and in great condition but my uncle who is 87, i'm thrilled and fortunate and blessed that they have this in the cleaver line. but i'm not ever, ever going to compromise on one aspect and that is social security. my father has worked since he was a kid and my brother has
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worked since he was a kid and for me to ever support reducing the benefits for somebody who paid in, this is not kind of giveaway program. everybody who paid the payroll tax paid into social security. and in their sunset years they deserve to live desently and as healthy as possible. i'm not going to compromise on the benefits. i will compromise if we raise the age of which people can qualify 10 years down the road. i will compromise on lifting the cap on 106,000. right now, if you earn above $106,000 you will pay social security taxes on the amount under $106,000. so you can never pay taxes after
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that, which i think is actually silly and those of us who have been blessed to earn more than $106,000 should understand how fortunate we are and we should pay above the cap. it's wrong. it's not right for people who earn a meager salary to have to struggle when there are people making $106,000 not even paying social security tax. now i'm representing missouri's fifth congressional district and i want to focus some attention before i close, madam speaker, on a tragedy occurring in missouri and the entire midwest region. currently, farmland and homes are under water along the missouri river from montana to
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my home state of missouri and record snow melt runoff along with unexpected rainfall in the upper river basin sealed up the reservoirs in eastern montana and the dacts and forced the army corps of engineers to release large amounts of water to keep them from overflooding. that excess water has flowed downzreem creating a path of destruction and levees have been breached in nebraska and iowa and my home state of missouri including closures of interstates and evacuations. more than 500,000 acres of land have been flooded. the high waters have moved further downstream causing high water flooding in three
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counties. i have gone to those areas. i have seen the flooding. i have looked at the fields that farmers would normally have corn growing under water and if we are here in washington twid willing our thumbs and the farmers in missouri and other states for that matter are struggling just to make it and with rivers still running above flood stage and soil saturated, forecasters have predicted, this summer flooding season could rival the worst in u.s. history. now that means in what was called the great flood of 1993 during my term as mayor, cost about $25 billion in damage. this would exceed $25 billion. the excessive high temperatures sweeping across the nation this
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week cannot ease concerns about river flooding. these high river levels are not going away any time soon and knitter is the risk of flooding that will be sustained along the missouri river through august as the reservoirs continue releasing high volumes of high water. just a small amount of rain could trigger more flooding in areas that have already received record flooding in 2011. obviously, we cannot plan for every natural disaster. however, we have the responsibility to take preventative measures whenever possible. the original purpose of these dams was flood protection. over the years, other priorities may have slipped. however, i believe now is the time to re-evaluate the corps of
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engineers' management plans and once again place the safety and livelihood of people who work and live along the river first. reservoir levels need to be lowered between october and april so that fewer releases are needed during the spring rain season. a goal of target releases should be that they not exceed any given flood stage downstream and if released above flood stage levels are required, a maximum flow of no more than five feet for 15 consecutive days could be set followed by five consecutive zace below given flood stages. this cycle could be rerita peted as necessary and this planning is needed to prevent flooding events such as this year's happening again. now, madam speaker, we are here
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dealing with political -- i think shen nan begans is a word that would fit. real people are struggling, whether through flooding or unemployment. they are struggling and the congress of the united states needs to act. you know, one of the reasons we can't get anything done with jobs as i mentioned earlier or the flooding problem is the bickering based on political affiliation. one thing i learned, i'm always watching animal channel and discovery channel. my family makes fun of me. i learned a few things while watching the discovery channel, bees cannot sting and make honey at the same time. they either have tock -- have to
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be hundredy or stingers. and i yield back. mrs. christensen: thank you for really making it so very clear to those who are listening this evening what the real situation is in this country and how important it is for us to act, to help the american people. you know and you have heard reverend and chairman cleaver talk about the job situation and the floods and other challenges that the america people are facing and now to add insult to injury, instead of passing a clean increase to the debt ceiling, our good country are being held by republicans pushed by their tea party members to demand deep spending cuts, cuts
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against the advice of some of our most expert economists in this country. the cuts in this new cut and balance act, we heard the talking points on, as our budget ranking member van hollen has said, would put americans out of work while this country is still recovering from the worst recession since the great depression. we heard about republican leadership, but i think they are leading us down the wrong path of this country and most americans. that bill, which will be on the floor tomorrow, would cap levels which is only 2008 spending levels and would make it near impossible, if not impossible to make the investments that we need in education and health care and research and infrastructure to secure our future and it would still, with all of that, extend even more
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tax cuts to special interests. all it would do is hamstring our nation's growth at a time when we are falling behind. it's not going to help to restore confidence as the gentleman from arizona said. only lifting the debt ceiling will do that. . i heard my colleagues say the bill tomorrow will protect social security and veterans' payments. the cuts and caps they will impose are likely to lead us down a prim rose path with no way to fund those programs later on. causing us probably to have to renege on our promise to our seniors, our veterans who have protected us, who have been willing to make the sacrifice to protect the feelings we enjoyed that enable us to be here speaking this evening. also targeted for wuts in -- cuts in that bill tomorrow or
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subject to the caps are snap or food stamples. at a time when their policies are leaving more of america's families and especially their children hungry, it would include cuts to unemployment when we should be adding 14 more weeks of unemployment as the bill h.r. 589 would do. it would be cutting school lunches when sometimes that's the only meal that some children have that is really balanced. and it would cut college loans and pell grants and we're going to go back to a time we don't want to go back to when only the wealthy could afford a college education. we cannot move our cupry forward by denying an education to so many people. all of this without letting
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those tax cuts expire or having -- continuing to let some of the wealthiest in our country go without paying their share of taxes. so tax -- what is it? the cut, cap, and balance act. it's not the way to go. to do it without being held hostage and bills like the plansed budget amendment is what we should be doing. at this time, i'd like to yield such time as she might consume to my distinguished colleague from texas, who always comes with a lot of information and words of wisdom and inspiration, congresswoman sheila jackson lee.
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ms. jackson lee: i'd like to thank the manager and chairwoman of this particular hour sponsored by the congressional black caucus and for those of us who care, along with many of our members in the congressional black caucus and in this congress, i think it is important to note for our colleagues that there are many members who truly believe in their heart that we can find a common path a bipartisan path, and our -- and are in angst, you will, because they want to represent their constituents in the best way possible of what seems to be the tyranny in some instance of the majority.
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frankly, i do believe in the democratic process. i believe in a you are a victor in elections, you have the right to define your agenda and to present it to the american people. but there are some instances where the american people call upon us to have those agendas set aside so that we can work for america. i want to thank the gentlelady, her great work on the affordable care act. we are beginning to see many who never had act ss to health care begin to be, if you will, the beneficiaries of preventive care and the parity with mental health issues, more health professionals that we work so hard on on the congressional black caucus and of course access to health care for those with pre-existing disease. but i want to talk tonight to
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reiterate some points that were made about the double digit unemployment among african-americans and the 36% unemployment among youth and just make the point to the american people, to my colleagues, that no job bill has been put forward by our money friends. absolutely no jobs bill. this is now july 18, a supermajority is on the other side. they could do so much alone without any votes from democrats. democrats have been pushing for a jobs bill. the congressional black caucus will be leaving out in a couple of weeks to have it cities all over america to not only say we care but to talk about squobs. this summer, we were going to close city pools and community centers in houston, temperatures of 100 and 105 degrees. i felt if we couldn't find public money, let's work to find private money.
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we were able to open over 10 to 15 community centers and pools in my congressional district from me being be able to find resources, meaning that some came forward to give the resources and more importantly, created jobs for youth, who could be if you will, the life guards and as i have ited these pools and talked to young people who would not have had a job, obviously a small measure, but to at least acknowledge the desperation that we have for jobs. as we go out as members of the congressional black caucus, we'll be embracing corporate leadership and others to have job fairs. so that individuals can have it. i had a jobs fair in the teeming heat that thousands showed up, people were lined around the block. americans want to work.
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in a bipartisan partnership, wouldn't it have been just great for republican colleagues, no matter whether they're tea party or no party to come together and say, the first act that we will engage in will be creating jobs and out of those job creation comes growth. we've done a great job under president obama and we in the democratic party have done a great job. we've actually been creating private sector jobs every single month and as well, we did create three million jobs -- jobs under the american recovery and reinvestment. that should be very clear. the loss of numbers or the bump in unemployment is, as our colleague indicated, for all of america, was because public sector jobs were being willy nily dispensed with, frontliners, first responders, sanitation workers, teachers,
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firefighters, ambulance drivers, all over america by republican governors. they laid the people off en masse, in many instances they didn't need to, they could have worked it out but they laid them off en masse and that gave the bump to unemployment. where does that leave us today? what i want to focus on is the fact that i want to make it clear that members of the congressional black caucus have supported many bipartisan efforts to turn our economy right side up. we have worked on infrastructure issues. we have supported transportation legislation to fix america's bridges, highways, dams, because we know how important it is. we have helped resolve our budgetary issues, our revenue issues, we have voted in unison in a bipartisan way for some legislation that may not have been in total agreement with many of our views but we did it for america. we voted for a balanced budget amendment that generated the
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children's health insurance program. and we need to con to discuss this, where we are today, because we need to help the american people. and i've heard the concerns of my constituents today. i was at a -- an announcement of the use of neighborhood stabilization funds where we worked with habitat for humanity and opened the doors of houses for those who weren't able to have a house. you should have seen the excitement of those families. but the seniors were asking me, are we going to get our social security check? you can't go anywhere in your district where people are not up in a fury. they want to know how we can get this done. i think it's important to note a little bit of history. prior to the existence of the debt ceiling, congress had to approve borrowing etch time the federal government wished to borrow money to carry out its function. with the onset of world war i and the growth of the nation,
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the capability to borrow needed to expand to meet rapidly changing requirements. this is not a democratic idea or the idea of president barack obama. to address this need, the debt ceiling was established in 1917, allowing the federal government to be the umbrella on a rainy day to come to the aid of americans during emergencies, to be able to address the question of war and peace. this wasn't something we developed just to agitate members who believe they are the fiscal hawks of all time. even moreso than president reagan who understood that the government had certain roles. since the debt limit was first put in place, congress increased it over 100 times. in fact it was raised 10 times in the past decade, which includes the era of president george bush. and the wars of iraq an afghanistan. congress last came together and raised the debt ceiling in february of 2010.
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and it dizz so -- it did so with the idea that we were working together. we understand that we're at a $14-plus trillion. there's no one who is happy with a growing debt. but many economists will tell you that economists will tell you that a deficit is sometimes important to take care of a country's people. who knows what is going on in japan right now because they need to take care of their people. they need to ensure that those who are impacted by the sunesune and earthquake and knew -- by the tsunami and the earthquake and the nuclear explosion, they need to take care of the sick people and the hurt people. but our country is not like portugal and greece. economists -- an economist we listened to two weeks ago said on the record that this country is -- that this nation is not
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broke. let me say it again, americans. don't be intimidated and frightened to believe that america is broke. we can solve this problem. the way in which we are able to address it, the assets we have, will allow us to extend the cut over a 12-year period. every reasoned economist in america says you cannot cut our spending overnight. you cannot cut it. so congress is entirely within its right to be thoughtful thoughtful on this issue of the debt and it is important to note that what makes us so strong is we have something called the united states treasury bonds which have traditionally been one of the safest investments another country or investor could make. other couldn'tries and americans buy treasury bonds. our children are given treasury bonds. for foreign nations an
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investors purchasing a u.s. treasury bond meant they held something virtually as safe as cash. backed by the full faith and credit of the united states. let me say that again. the full faith and credit of the united states. that is constitutionally worded. and so my friends who are drawn to the tea party are suggesting that we go straight to the brink. but when you go to the brink as my colleague as has said, you begin to shake the -- has my colleague has said, you begin to shake the market and they shudder and the impact comes to the hardworking american who has been so fiscally responsible that they put away their children's college, savings for themselves if they retire, they've been dutiful, they've been respectful, but what we will do is force this market to get so shaky those savings may be jeopardized. how can we do this?
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democratic party, republican party, tea party, if it's a registered party or a group of people, if there are members who have come here wearing the banner, they can do nothing more than adhere to that. so we are here on the floor tonight to look for compromise and reason. and say in turn with the proceeds from the bonds the federal government of the world's largest economy is able to finance its operation, that's us, the united states. let me remind everyone, we have the largest economy in the world. america is not broke. we have to do better, we have to extend our cuts, we have to balance over a period of time, almost like a household. where they begin to try to analyze what they'll be able to pay and what they'll have to cut out. you've heart families say, we've stopped going out as much as we've gone out. there are unemployed persons who have to do more devastating cuts, going to their savings. that's why i say, where's the job bill the republicans are supposed to put on the floor of
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the house? where are the jons? somebody -- jobs? as they used to say in advertising, where is the beef? so this week, my friends, we're going to be spending a whole week addressing the question of a bill called mrs. capito: -- cut, cap and balance. and before i address to you who will be hurt on cut, cap and balance, the amendment that came out of the judiciary committee, i just want to you know that every state can stand up here and say that, but i want to put it in the record that it's come to my attention that social security beneficiary ears in texas, over three million, likely will be impacted. total number of social security beneficiaries in harris county, that's where houston, texas, the fourth largest city of the nation, a very diverse city, 429,760. social security beneficiaries. which might include s.s.i. which is for those who are in need of
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moneys because their children or they're disabled. 780,000 seniors and individuals with disabilities in the metro area that are currently enrolled in medicare, the lifeline of our seniors. and currently 145,000 individuals in the district, the 18th congressional district, that have been -- that are on medicaid. and it's interesting to note that the medicaid issue has not even been discussed. so here we have a week of cut, cap and balance and frankly the treasury bond in jeopardy, the marketplace of innocent, hardworking americans who have saved and invested in those bonds owe nation around the world who bought what they thought was a rock solid investment are now teetering because we're willing to take this week to discuss a bill
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called cut, cap and balance that the president of the united states has already indicated that he intends to veto, that there's a question of whether or not the senate will even address this bill. so we will spend our time wasting, debating, so that someone can get a political mark. let me express my understanding of members who need a political mark. i voted for a bill that will never pass and could never be a useful tool in the united states . you can go home and say that i can, as you bang your chest and suggest that i show them, i told them what it was, i passed or voted for the cut, cap and balance. and by the way, there's no doubt that this could possibly pass because the republicans have a supermajority. but you know what this is? this is playing political chicken.
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who will blink? and we have never played political chicken with the raising of the debt ceiling. we have never put the american people in this jeopardy, we didn't do it to ronald reagan, we didn't do it to jimmy carter, we didn't do it to first george bush, a distinguished texan, we didn't do it to president, as i said, carter, we didn't do it to president clinton, we didn't do it to president bush who just was in office, but here we are with president obama. at now a time that we think we have to do this. and this is based upon an ideological view that does not look to the american people. so let me tell you who is hurt in all of this. so that we can understand real people are involved. i'll just call this working americans and this little one that will represent millions of children across america. this is who this will impact. in the state of texas, our governor has already cut $4
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billion from education, he actually took the stimulus money that was supposed to be for education, governor rick perry decided to just stash the money away and put it in a rainy day fund. it looks good for when you're going to run for higher office, you didn't save money, you took money out of the children's mouths, you're closing schools, you're closing school districts and you're taking away teachers, you're building up the classside size, you're making our country a second and third class in education while other countries are moving forward and so that's who we'll hurt, just take this little one who is not yet in school, this is a hardworking nurse, represents working americans. this is who we'll be -- will be hurt because on the cut, cap and balance bill you're going to find out that though they say they are protecting medicaid, medicare and others, you're going to find out that we literally are not going to be able to run this country.
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my colleague came from -- my colleague came from missouri, everybody saw the tragedy of joplin, missouri, and so quickly the cut, cap and balance is going to hurt this and i'm going to call in the cap on this bill is going to be the tap dance bill because they're going to be tap dancing around all the people that are going to be hurt. next, who's going to be hurt, are our military families. now, they say that they are taking care of veterans' benefits. this is active duty military. they need to be paid. they say they have classified or taken out security. well, have they taken out the grandma mas of these soldiers and their wives? have they taken out the parents of these soldiers and their wives who need medicare and social security? have they faken -- taken out their sisters and brothers who needed student loanses? no. so they're tap dancing around
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the fact that they're saying they're not hurting these people. it's not the cap bill, it's a tap dance bill. that's what it's going to be. and then rather than the cut bill they're going to organize, instead of the cap and cut, they're going to organize the losers club of america, we're going to open up a losers club with what is going to go out on the floor tomorrow. the losers club will be the american people. children, seniors, college students, the jobs that we want to make through the infrastructure, how many people have driven on freeways and bridges and had pot holes because we need america's infrastructure to be rebuild -- rebuilt. very quickly let me just say that, as these poster boards take their own life, let me quickly say very, very quickly, the losers club tomorrow is going to pronounce that we will be giving gifts to millionaires, they'll get $200,000 because the build tomorrow is worse than the republican budget.
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so millionaires will get $200,000, republican budget and this bill, remember what i said, they caused a cut, cap and balance, i'm calling it the tap dance, losers club and bus bill. so we're going to give millionaires $200,000 a year and while seniors will be paying an extra $6,000 a year for their medicare. because it will bust medicare as we know it. now, how do we get to where we are today? why are we in this whole status where people are saying, don't raise the debt limit? we brought it on ourselves. the republicans were in charge when the bush tax cuts came in. and they never wanted to have it expire. that was a big fight when we came in, president came in, that was a big fight. out of compromise, he said, let's be fair. and so you can see the bush tax cuts, 37% of our debt. 37%. so to talk about why we're here,
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look at what the republicans have done. and then you have the iraq war, 11%, so it's interesting that now they're going to be fiscally responsible but yet they are the cause of the debt. let me finish by just saying that i am glad to be here with the congressional black caucus, i want to rename the bill as the tap dance, losers club and bust the american people bill. bust the safety net for america. and i want to thank the gentlelady by simply saying, i love this country and i believe we can come together. i have great respect for my colleagues who have a different view. but what i beg of them to do is to take the constitution and cherish it like we all do and that opening part that says, we the people, we are now calling on republicans and democrats and members of the tea party who are in this congress to be part of the we the people and let us not in a frivolous manner take up the floor time that is going to work on a bill that will never
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be signed and take it away from the resolution of the debt ceiling which then causes the market to go in a tailspin. i want to save the american people and i frankly believe that we have the right to do so. simply close by saying to you, martin king, whose monument will open in just a few weeks, gave us a wonderful challenge, of the time that he asked this nation to believe in his dream and he gave us the further challenge of the night before his death he indicated that he had been to the mountaintop and he looked out and saw the promiseland, an opportunity for all of us, no matter who we were, to have an equal opportunity in this country and to respect you but always look for the greater good but he said he as a person, he didn't think that he would get to the promised land, but he
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knew that we as a people, we as americans would get to the promised land someday. i still believe in that dream and in that charge and i'm asking for my colleagues to work with us to be able to do that this time on behalf of the american people. i yield to the gentlelady. mrs. christensen: i thank you so much for your charts, you're really pointing out who would be hurt by this cut, cap and balance or as you call it the tap dancing bill. you know, sometimes you have to call it what it is. so thank you, congresswoman sheila jackson lee, for joining us this evening. you know, i listened to new york columnist tom friedman yesterday and i think we ought to put his talk -- the one he had with our nation's governors on d.v.d. and make it required listening for some of our stonewalling colleagues. he put an adjective on the debate or so-called negotiations that have been staged these last few weeks, he called the debate idiotic. some may agree, some may disadepree with that.
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but he further said, and this i do agree with, that it is not worthy of our country and a disservice to our children. so just like the other 74 times since 1962, 764 -- 74 times, that clean, noncontroversial lift our debt ceiling has been done, we should have done it a long time ago and that's what we ought to do now. and then after that, whether we use what's left of the gang of six, i guess it's now just democrats, their plan is a starting point, we need to begin coming up with a solid deficit reduction plan that isn't done on the backs of our poor, our middle class, our children, our seniors and our people with disabilities. and one that is, as the president has called for, one of shared sacrifice. it's the only fair way, it's the only american way. and while important to securing the future, deficit reduction by itself is not enough.
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we are still in a recession, a recovery but it's very slow and it's uneven. what we need now are jobs, jobs and more jobs. we need to continue to work on the recovery act and add to the three million jobs that we either saved or created with that bill and that act. we need to are build our manufacturing base as a make it in america democratic agenda would do. and we have to provide the housing market, to help families stay in their homes and restore the opportunity for every american and those who came to live in this country to achieve what we call the american dream. we need to do what we have always done best, to create, we need to regain our place as the innovation capital of the world and to do that and to secure a sustainable future for our children, we have to invest in the work of bringing our country back from 25th in science, 17th in math, 14th in reading and 12th in college graduates. the issue should not be cut,
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cut, cut. i agree with tom friedman on that as well. but it should be how do we do what is necessary to bring our beloved nation back to the first place standing which is where it always must be and what our families and our children deserve? as the american -- as the african proverb said, this is really what's happening now, the elephants are fighting and the grass is getting crushed. this should not be a fight of the political ideology, democratic leaders have shown their willingness to compromise on many of the programs we hold sacred, what those compromises are and how large they are i think will determine where the c.b.c. stands when the time comes to vote. but there can be no compromises, as you've heard from my colleagues tonight, on social security, which has nothing to do with the deficit whatsoever, or on medicare which we have done so much to strengthen and lengthen in the affordable care act, or in medicaid which would not only cause undo but -- undue but grave harm to the poor and all of the states and
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territories that we represent. so i say to my fellow members of congress, on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capitol, let's raise the debt ceiling, let's forget this crazy debate about cutting programs that hurt our fellow americans and do it in a clean vote so that we can get back to the important, critical business of creating jobs, of rebuilding our country, of putting in place a strong foundation for our future, of restoring our image in the world and holding on to opposition of leadership. with that -- would you like me to yield the balance of my time to you? ms. jackson lee: i'd like to yield before you close. mrs. christensen: i yield my time to sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: i thank her for her leadership but i wanted to, when i said the bust, i want to equate it to the balanced budget amendment. that is what this cap -- excuse me, cut, cap and balance, it is a balanced budget amendment but
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let me be very clear because you said something very important. the balanced budget amendment, it was passed, would virtually guarantee that future budgets would cut and end medicare as well as drastically cut medicaid, just like the republican budget. the balanced budget amendment takes 2/3 of the house and senate to pass, it is almost impossible for it to pass and we are not like states where states do balance but they only have to take care of their state. . mrs. christensen: we would never be able to raise revenue, 2/3 of both bodies. ms. jackson lee: in joplin, missouri, the floods, the tornadoes and let me finish on this, we served on homeland security. we have seen the death of mr. karzai's brother, his very close aide. we have seen pakistani police officers be shot down in a
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massacre by taliban. this is a very serious climate of terrorism in this world. and the tragedy and backdrop of 9/11, where we had to bail out the airlines and rebuild new york and other places, that is the responsibility of america. that's why there is a federal government. and if we are to play with this through the cap, cut and balance, balanced budget amendment, we will be the tap dance, we will be the losers' club and we will bust the rights of americans that call upon their federal government when they are in need. this is not a time to play with the lives of americans. and i believe that we are ready to compromise, but not to engage in this when we have to do what the american people need us to do. and i want to yield back to the gentlelady and i'm very glad to
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be here with her tonight and i couldn't leave without emphasizing that homeland security cannot be undermined and diminished. it is streamly important. let's do right by the american people. mrs. christensen: i yield back. the chair: under the speaker's policy of january 6, 2007, the chair recognizes mr. brooks from alabama for half of the time, 22 minutes. mr. brooks: america is the greatest nation in the history of the world. we enjoy a standard of living that is envied by most. we are a beacon of freedom by all. have you ever thought about why america is the world's leader? are we just lucky? no.
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i would submit there are substantive reasons for our greatness. we are blessed today because of the sacrifices of those before us and those who ensured a better future. history shows us that great nations rise and great nations fall, but they rarely fall from without, without first suffering weakness from within. today, the greatest threat to america is not a foreign power. no, america's greatest threat is washington's irresponsible, dangerous and their spending habits. admiral mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, testified before the house armed services committee that america's greatest national security threat is our own sustainable and growing debt burden. it wasn't al qaeda. it wasn't north korea. it wasn't the taliban or any other foe across the globe, it was our unsustainable national
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debt. and he is right. for years, washington has been on a spending binge of epic proportions. we have put our own self-interests. we spend more money to get votes. they don't care about who must pay the bill or america's future generations. they don't care whether their spending binges rimbing america's future. they are 100% dead wrong. most recently, the president stated, quote, we don't need a constitutional amendment to do our job. the constitution already tells us to do our jobs and make sure that the government is living within its means and making responsible choices and he went on, quote, we don't need more studies or a balanced budget amendment.
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we simply need to make these tough choices and be willing to take on our bases. but history that is accomplished that we need in the united states congress a constitutional amendment, because it will provide the backbone that congress has lacked for so long. history proves those naysayers are wrong. three years of trillion-plus deficits proved them wrong, deficits into the future proved them wrong. america must rise up and force washington to live within our means wf before it is too late and america must give washington the backbone it lacks, forcing washington to do the right thing. if this congress will not pass an effective balanced budget constitutional amendment, then the states must do it for us. the lone star state of tax as called for a constitutional
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convention. alabama has joined texas. i read into the record alabama senate joint resolution 100 from alabama 2011 regular session just base passed. this is act number 2011-400, principal sponsor and co-sponsors from the state of alabama. enrolled, s.j.r. 100, urging congress to promote a balanced budget amendment. incurring debt was established early, with deficits occurring only in relation to extraordinary circumstances such as war, yet, for much of the 20th century and into the 21st, the united states has operated
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on a budget deficit, including the 2010 budget year, which surpassed an owe stounding $1.3 trillion and annual deficits that exceeded the entire gross state product of many of these united states and whereas an exception to this pattern was at the turn of the 21st century in 2001, american joined a budget surplus and whereas since m.y. 2001, america has been burdened with 10 consecutive years of deficit, $158 billion. 2003, 377 billion deficit. f.y. 2004, $4138 billion deficit. f.y. 2005, 318 billion. 2006, 248 billion. f.y. 2007, $161 billion deficit.
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f.y. 2008, $459 billion deficit. $2009, $1.3 trillion deficit. f.y. 2011, 1.5 trillion estimated. and whereas as of january 2001 -- 2007, america's exceeded debt has exceeded $13 trillion and the congressional budget office projects that if current trends continue under the white house's proposed budget, each of the next 10 years has a projected deficit exceeding $600 billion and whereas the budget deficits of the united states of america are unsustainable and constitute a threat to the solve venssi of the united states government, regarding the longer term credit
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outlook for the united states and whereas, congress has been unwilling or unable to address the persistent problem of overspending and as recently increased the statutory limit on the public debt and enacted a variety of legislation that will ultimately cause the federal government to incur additional debt and whereas the national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform in its report, "the moment of truth" includes recommendations to reduce the federal deficit that have not been considered by the united states congress and whereas the consequences of current spending policies are far reaching, united states' indebtedness to foreign nations continues to rise, costly foreign programs that are essentially unfunded or underfunded threaten state and local governments to balance their budgets and future generations of americans face
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increased taxation as a direct result of the bloated debt and whereas many states have previously requested that congress propose a congresses stutional amendment requiring a balanced budget but congress has been responsive, anticipating situations in which congress could fail to act, the drafters of the united states constitution had the foresight to adopt the language in article 5 that establishes the 2/3 of the several states, congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments and whereas, in prior years the alabama legislature has called on congress to pass a constitutional amendment, many of the states have done the same. and whereas a balanced budget amendment would require the government not to spend more than it receives in revenues and compel lawmakers to consider spending and taxes by encourninging spending control
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and encouraging deficit spending. it will help the nation on the path to lasting prosperity. now therefore, be it resolved by the legislature of alabama, both houses concurring that the legislature of the state of alabama hereby respectfully urges the congress of the united states to propose to the states for ratification, a federal balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution. be it further resolved that in the event that congress does not submit a balanced budget amendment to the states on or before december 31, 2007, the alabama legislature makes application to the united states congress to call a convention under article 5 of the united states constitution for the specific and exclusive purpose of proposing an amendment to that constitution requiring that, in the absence of a national emergency as determined by the positive vote of each members of house of congress as the amendment shall require, the
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total of all federal appropriations made by congress for any fiscal year shall not exceed the total of all revenue for that fiscal year. be it further resolved this application by the alabama legislature constitutes a continuing application in accord answer of article 5 of the united states constitution unless 2/3 of the legislatures of the several states have made application for a convention to provide for a balanced budget. that in the event congress does not submit a balanced budget to the states for ratification on or about december 31, 2007, the alabama legislature hereby requests that the legislatures of each of the several states that compose the united states apply to congress requesting congress to call a convention to propose such an amendment to the united states constitution. be it further are solved that this application is rescinded in
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the event that a convention includes purposes other than providing for a balanced budget amendment. be it further resolved that the copies of this resolution be provided to the following official, the president of the united states, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the president of the united states senate, all members of the alabama delegation to congress with a request that this resolution be officially entered into the official record as an application of the united states congress of america for a convention to propose an amendment to provide for a federal balanced budget in the event that congress does not submit such an amendment to the states for ratification on or about december 31, 2007. be it further resolved copies of this resolution be provided to the secretaries of state and the presiding officers of the legislatures of the other states. signed by the president presiding officer of the alabama state senate signed by the house
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of representatives, signed by the governor of the state of alabama on june 7, 2007. congress clearly has the duty to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment to prevent unsustainable spending sprees that threaten america's future, quite frankly and in my judgment, a balanced budget constitutional amendment is the only way to prevent a federal government insolvensy and bankruptcy of such a bankruptcy. i urge this congress to do the right thing and pass an effective balanced budget constitutional amendment. if congress shirks its duty to america i plead for the states to join texas and alabama by demanding a constitutional convention for drafting a balanced budget amendment. i urge the states to act with
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haste. the states are our last best hope for american greatness and survival and generations to come. madam speaker, i yield the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman from alabama have a motion to adjourn? mr. brooks: madam speaker, i move to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on those to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m.
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live coverage of the u.s. house when members return always here on c-span. coming up next, our documentary on the library of congress. today, president obama nominated -- that is coming up later. remarks from the senate leaders harry reid and mcconnell on the debt ceiling negotiations. >> ann coulter has something to
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say. your chance to talk to and e- mail the author and syndicated columnist. for three hours, starting at noon, live on booktv. >> the feature documentary, the library of congress, behind the scenes at the world's largest library. >> the pursuit is knowledge that something progresses, liberals, conservatives, libertarians' all want. they may disagree on how to do it and how much to spend on it, but essentially, they are all in favor of accurate information about law makers can use.
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>> there is this connection between democracy and reading and knowledge that goes back -- that predates the library of congress. it is a manifestation of the earlier idea. >> they were entirely created in the age of print. >> the free availability of information. it is something to be celebrated. i think that comes to vary dramatically in the building. >> it started as a small space and the capitol where congressman could get information. it has grown to eight separate facilities, including the madison building, and the adams building. the campus for audiovisual conservation in culpeper, virginia. the true home is the jefferson
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building. were there were once only books, the library of congress features one-of-a-kind presidential papers, photos, music, video, and more. >> this is the largest map collection in the world. >> there are 62 million items. they occupy a about 30 miles and shelving. >> we are one of the greatest visual resources in the world. 40 million pictures. >> we have over 8000, 500 -- we have over 8500 cases. >> the george washington papers have about 65,000 items. we have the thomas jefferson papers. they have about 27,000 items. >> without them, we would not be able to tell the story of our past. we would not be able to explore the certain personalities, the major events, and the history of this country. >> that is what this place does.
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whether it is manuscript's, music, maps, photos, movies, audio, the old mark many of the pivotal advance in the evolution of the united states and the world. >> in 1948, we acquired -- 40,000 glass plate negatives. that is the first photo news agency in america. >> if you spend one minute with each bottle in the library of congress, it would take you 24 years to see them all. if you spend 10 minutes with each map in the library of congress, it would take you over 100 years to see them all. what about bucks?
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-- books. the jefferson building tells a story, to. of the need for knowledge and love of books. with its ornate style, it harkens back to european ancestors while moving forward and featuring elements exclusively american. built at the end of the 19th century, it reflects a time when americans were saying goodbye to the past and coming into their own as a country. this program features not only the buildings, but also the treasures inside. some of the most exclusive documents, photos, maps and objects that represent our nation's past and present.
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♪ >> as they go through this great arch, we go into one of the most magnificent spaces of the library, the great hall. the great hall and beyond it is them -- the main reading room are two of the greatest places in american architecture. the architecture is about space and this is the architect's plan at the top of its game. >> one of the things i feel that people get in the library is joy. the colors are joyful. there is a quality of the light on that brilliant marble. >> i think it is the upward pull. i think that is part of that
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experience. there is a very elaborate system. >> you have got the seasons. you have a serious on knowledge and understanding and wisdom. you have figures representing performing arts. >> beside all this elaborate
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artwork is an indication that this building is about america and its coming-of-age. >> the main thing, there are symbols of great printers of the world. one side is all american. to show once again that america is taking its place in the world of letters. >> it is a lot to take an. color, images, and right teens from all sides. there is one figure -- writings. >> minerva presides over the jefferson building. she is the guardian over -- she
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is the goddess of learning and wisdom. she is the patron of the applied arts. of the fine arts, the performing arts. there is not much left. that is by the pounding father's lector a lot. -- that is what the founding fathers liked her a lot. as you see her in this mosaic, the top of the stairs leading to the visitors' gallery, she overlooks the entire great hall and stand guard in front of the reading room. behind her, the sunlight is breaking through the clouds. it is the sunlight of prosperity. that is one of the other things that she is doing her job well. the nation is prospering. the arts and sciences and all these other things can flourish. the resources that have gone to war now go to be peaceful activities. >> just before reaching the main
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reading room, a reminder that knowledge is not always used for good. through a series of murals reflecting the turn of the century in which they were painted, both good and bad government are depicted. >> over the door of where you enter, you have government represented as everything has a balance. in the middle is your allegorical female figure. the line from the gettysburg address. government is working. it is as it should. on the left side, you have two murals showing what can happen if government does not do its job. a figure of anarchy.
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she is holding a burning constitution in one hand. the figure on her right is trying to pry out the cornerstones that art institutions. books are being destroyed. the tree behind her is dead. everything is wrong. that is the worst-case scenario, anarchy. beside her, the next merrill -- mural is one untitled "corrupt legislation." this is probably a combination of john d. rock of -- rockefeller and jpmorgan. he is a big player. he stuffed the ballot box. his factories are sean -- shown going full tilt. he has the money.
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he has an open book. he has figured out how to fold government. opposite him is a poor young laborer. the wall is falling down. how do you counter balance that? on the opposite side on the right of the entrance to the main reading room, you have a figure of good government. it is knowledge based democracy. the figure of government has an open book in her lap. everything is in balance and she is a very respectable figure. on the right is a figure of a young voter with the books under his arm. he is going to cast his ballot
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having reformed himself. opposite is a young woman holding and turn -- an urn. this figure of government is holding a balanced scale. the final mural is government at its best produces peace and prosperity, arts, literature, all these things can flourish. >> passed the murals is the main reading room. one of the many places that people can come to read and to research. an elaborate system of retrievals allows books to be brought from the basement up to the reader.
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from here, the tentacles of hallways that lead to more and more books. behind all those books, the other treasures. the maps, presidential papers, the photos, and much more. >> the most famous picture in the library of congress is called migrant mother. a 32-year-old mother who had seven children at a camp in california. the picture appeared in newspapers and magazines shortly after it was taken and helped persuade people not just there was desperate poverty going on in our country, but there was a resilience and a strength of the people facing the dire situation. >> the version seen today is not
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exactly what the photographer shot. she edited out. >> she found it a distraction and so she had it touched out of the negative. this particular picture is the pre-edited of a unique copy of the picture as it was originally taken. >> migrant mother is part of a collection of evidence. a new deal project to capture poverty in general -- rural america between 1935 and 1944. >> it is 1944 and we are in the midst of a war, the depression is recently passed. the attitude was, who will ever want to look at besides pictures again? -- sad, old pictures again? the librarian of congress went
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over and said, i noticed a lot of photographs, but i really feel like if we collect today contemporary, in 50 years, in 100 years, that will be a visual encyclopedia of life in the united states. the good as well as the bad. >> this is the library's most popular folk collection. -- a photo collection. it is also possible to track the country's history in the map division. >> libraries -- is the crown jewel of the collection. it is the first documented on which the name america appears because the person who made the map name does america.
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you could have anyone tell you how did america come to be? we know. it is on that map in 1507. >> it is the first map that there is a new continent, a distinct ocean. if there was a new world out there. >> at that point in time, there was only one sea. the width of south america it is within 70 miles of accuracy of the equator. this was supposedly before anyone went to the west side. congress took an interest in this and they agreed to cut $5 million to the purchase of the map. the other half was provided by a private donor.
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that map provides us 500 years later more questions than we can answer. >> in addition to photos and maps, the library of congress has a large manuscript division. it makes up about half of the items of the library. many of these are the papers of political figures. >> are documents dealing with political history are not just the official record of policies. we have a whole life approach. everything that goes into their whole life. >> that includes the lives of presidents. it was teddy roosevelt potts 1903 executive order that accelerated the library's collection of presidential papers. >> what this did was transferred from the state department the papers of presidents. george washington, thomas jefferson, james madison, and
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james monroe. as well as the papers of alexander hamilton and benjamin franklin. they were being preserved by the state department. >> those papers are the core of today's manuscript division. >> a lot of people just do not realize about the presidential library system. prior to that, the library of congress is the largest presidential library. >> the presidential papers range from george washington through calvin coolidge. washington's papers include 36 diaries, pocket-sized like a farmer would carry to make records about the weather. there are other diaries as well. >> he became president and he went on a series of tours of the
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country. he noticed that in the places where he traveled, the roads were not in good condition. the places to stay were not up to his standards. at one point, he said something like, these houses are -- the entertainment is very subpar. the reason he gave for that is very interesting. he said the people who travel along the roads are people who are moving from one place to another. they have all of their household goods with them and they do not need to stay in a tavern. it is a country of people on the move, which was buried a phenomenon of this period. -- which was very much a phenomenon of this period. he witnessed that. >> being a surveyor, the first president is also highlighted in the library's map collection. >> between 1748 and 1749,
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washington proved about 200 professional service. this map was produced by george washington in 1748 of the creation of the town of alexandria, virginia. this is a rough outline of the proposed town. i would like to turn it over. show you something that is unique about this map. during my research, i came across something very interesting. it appears that washington first started drawing on this side of the map. he messed up. he could not fit the entire coastline on this little piece of paper. so we had to turn them back over. and start again. in 1748, he would have been 16 years old.
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>> it was in a later president administration that one of the most famous trips in america took place. a trip that would change forever a young country and the lives of two young men. >> one of the big advances in the united states cost land mass occurred in 18 03. the louisiana purchase. at that point in time, thomas jefferson had put together the idea of finding as much as he could about this newly acquired plant. the most famous example is below was sent clark expedition. -- louis and clark expedition. it provides the information needed to go through that whole first year of the expedition. in the map, in our collection, there are a number of annotations that shows that they were actually embellishing or adding information. there was indication of a little
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bit of blood on it. it is an authentic map and one that is very exciting. it is available on our website. it is available wherever you live. >> some presidents were careful to leave a legacy of their presidency as witnessed by the library of congress itself. others just wanted it all to go away. >> the most distinct are the papers of president coolidge. president coolidge was often called sullen cal. he was reticent and his public speaking. he followed that in his papers as well. this was an era when presidential papers were the personal property of president and he could do with them whenever he pleased.
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what it pleased him to do was to burn almost all of them. the papers we have are actually from some filing cabinets that were in the basement of the white house and were overlooked when he left. they were discovered in the early 1930's. my predecessor wrote president coolidge a letter requesting the president's permission to go get them. he thought this would be the opening of a long and lengthy period of negotiations. he got back a letter and about 10 days with two sentences. what you suggest it's acceptable and you might also talk to my former secretary to see if there is anything else. my predecessor ruled it could not take yes for an answer. he broke a second letter. thank you, mr. president, but i feel bound to raise certain issues to make sure you
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understand. i suggest we deal with this. he got back a reply. and about 10 days. what you suggest is entirely acceptable. with that, the guy took yes for an answer. the whole thing took less than three weeks. about 46 or 47 words. >> the president with the most stark power belongs to our 16th president. >> it really is a the -- we have both the first and second gettysburg address is. the first copy is your -- here. the first inaugural and the second inaugural are both here.
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that is here. >> of course, and the emancipation proclamation. on a more personal basis, who had access to the lincoln family, left firsthand accounts of his death. >> in the assassination where the family was so stricken and get back to the white house, the scene is a terrific. -- horrific, . >> the president has been assassinated. is it possible? >> everybody is in tears. he is almost hysterical. a direst records that. >> when you reached the president's house, he met them on the portico.
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y pa, he kept repeating? he screamed in an agony of grief. my brother is dead. my father is dead. all mother, you will not die, will you? if you die, i shall be all along. >> his children were the playmates of lincoln's children. >> not everything is serious. >> this is a letter showing the personal side of the family. mary todd traveled in the summer. this is lincoln writing from the white house, talking to mary about the goat. the goat had been eating
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flowers. he was seen schilling has -- chewing his cud. and he disappeared. he is writing to forewarn tad that the goat is gone. >> it is an example where the different divisions of the library of congress interweave to tell the story of the history of the united states. his administration coincided with the popular photography. it is said that lincoln was the first president to really tapped into this new technology. we have the first portrait of abraham lincoln, up until a few weeks before his death, and it is a powerful experience to watch the face of the young congressman and how seriously he engaged during those few years of the civil war before his assassination.
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asides photographs' collection goes back to the first days of photojournalism. >> there is a man who was stranded above niagara falls, and the photographer was able to take a photograph of him, and he drowned soon after. from that first moment of for tiger freedom -- of photography, it was seen to capture the defense as it was happening. a photographer put cameras in the hands of his reporters and said bring back what you can. he was able to sell these pictures to many newspapers on a
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prescription basis. from there comes the associated press, upi. there is the national photo company. harris and ewing. in 1971, when "look" close, they passed -- they asked if we would be willing to participate. it was looked on as a family magazine. a lot of partners with them, and after the magazine you"as his and wa -- another magazine
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covered the vietnam war up until 1980. >> the library has a large collection of journalists papers. >> these are trained observers to, in addition to the official stories they may have written, diaries or wrote letters to their colleagues about what they observed. they are a very viable for -- a very valuable for document thing people in u.s. history. >> journalists like, really, who lives are, catherine grant, and >> one of the most recent collections we got from a columnist with "the washington post," where she wrote about the
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story of 9/11. [unintelligible] the second plane from the back side of the tower, after the first attack and not since the oklahoma city was the white house evacuated. >> other divisions made efforts to preserve the 9/11 experience. >> we tried to find ways for the president is echoing the past, so we will look for the national defeevents. that was a major event in united states history, so we have a acquisition to gather in,
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whether photographs, comics, cartoons. >> preserving the past takes on a special interest in the map division. >> maps are very important in either preparing for conflict or as a report on conflict afterwards. >> this is an interesting map of -- that was made in 1944. it is a raised relief map, made of foam rubber, and it was used to brief officers, commanders, prior to the landings in normandy. you could see and feel where the hedgerows were. you could see numbers that indicated whether these roads would support or not support tanks. he could see every individual
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for a vacation, most of which had been bombed prior to the landing, in contrast to the landed at omaha beach. only 200 people lost their lives here, and at the end of the first day, he had 21,000 troops on board. there was a massive loss of life on this beach that did not happen, and it could have had something to do with having materials like this available to the commanders at the time. >> the collections include mapping in the pacific theater, and in this case we have maps that were prepared for landing beaches in ockinawa. these are islands, and you can see it is broken down at the landing zones. this map shows the profile of each individual landing zone. the importance is this was done by underwater demolition teams,
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the forerunner of the navy seals. was done completely under water. this mapped terrain under water. this was an important formation for allied planners. >> the map creates a frame. i have looked at new ratings on revolutionary, civil war conflicts, and i look for maps, and some of them i just toss away, because there is no matt. how can you talk about a map -- about a conflict if you do not know where to place? >> the forces of a road across the delaware river in 1776 and succeeded in attacking trenton. one week later, there was a second battle. this is called the battle of princeton. on december 31, 1776, a general
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set a young spy and a princeton, new jersey, the home of princeton university. they were to look at the defenses of the city. as i returned and provided the information that is depicted on this map. this is the building, the college of new jersey, the first name for princeton university. these little guys are canons which are pointing south. these will guys are cannons pointing north. there are also field pieces pointing west. the town is heavily defended by cannons. there is a note saying 100 men are at this bridge. there is a note here that says just this morning 100 men started building resorts.
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this is real time information. despite observe this, came back, provided information. a mat maker made this man and sent it on to general washington. then most interesting part about the matt is this note. what it says is there is this nice road that leads to the back of town and it is undefended. washington sent some of his forces against the town, and said the remaining forces around the back of the town. the british realized teh gig was up. this map was instrumental in this strategy involved in the attack against princeton on january 1, 1777. >> this is the order to drop the
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atomic bomb. it was sent from washington, outlining a plan of action to the secretary of war,, who was in germany. this project was called operation father board -- featherboard. and this bank cable is the answer to the yellow cable, through the chief of staff, george marshall, and authorize the air force to drop the atomic bomb. >> the history of civil rights is preserved in the library in several ways, most prominently in the papers of the national association for the advancement of colored people, founded in 1909. >> naacp records are the largest collections acquired by the library. this collection are enhanced by the papers of such prominent activists as thurgood marshall,
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wilkens, carter, herbert hill, story," randolph, rowe, james foreman, edward works, just to name a few. >> some other records in the library of congress come from less obvious collections. >> cancel adams -- ansel adams. he wrote a letter to the library saying he had these photographs that shows the war relocation camp in the 1940's. would you be interested? we said thank you pretty fast. if a car for suggested with -- photographer with a skill of courter, a very complicated
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subject matter. a picture of people playing softball inside a warp relocation camp, it is a waco moment, but also a what is calling on here? were people on happy or satisfied with how was like it would continue even if you are locked up? how did you keep going, and what was going to happen after the camp pro? >> the library keeps a history of some of the noted people selected to represent their country, both in the house and the senate. >> they have a special place here. we are the library of congress and we have collections ranging from -- to someone likes -- who served in congress until their
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death in 2002. >> the papers of clare boothe luce are housed in the library, a person from the 1920 bowsprit the ball out of congressional papers are from men, including senator robert taft. both robert sr. and jr., all the way back to a representative who served in the continental congress. once these collections arrived, the task to be ready for public view can be a long road. this is behind the scenes. we get collections from donors, very often the collections are stored in attic or basement or even born. a lot in this room they are
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delivered " four out on tables. the collections, if they are not born here, there midwife here, and eventually they are available to the public. >> revolvers, pieces of wedding cake, all kinds of things that people clear out their file cabinets or closets. >> the papers of an air force general rideshare. he was responsible for the of the month of the icbm. >> it appears he used this folder when he wasn't on airplanes because he continued his notes on airplane napkins, and he needed for paper because he needed -- he used an air sickness bag to continue his notes. these are the kinds of odditie'' we deal with in the course of
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processing. >> it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, protecting and processing the idea is to be saved by the library for future generations. >> i like is in these records you have both a personal and professional side of an individual, and exit there are the executive documents, the executive orders, official correspondence, evidence of what they did, and then you had this whole other side of these people. >> the papers of president theodore roosevelt are an example. his diary look at how all the future president dealt with future personal tragedy. >> his wife had given birth to his daughter, but had died in childbirth. his mother, living with them,
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died in the house the same day, so he lost both his wife and his mother on the same day. you see a black x and they know to buy him, the light has gone out of my life. you turn the page over, he writes down, the event that happened on that particular day that produced the black x. he goes on to say that for better or worse, his life has been lived out. he went romantic and on to great things. >> it helps to see that the individuals are complicated individuals that have had great despair in their lives, hopes, fears, they are all in their
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personal papers. this is a diary, one where the individual is just pouring out their innermost demotions. -- emotions. she is writing in very small print and saying for some reason i have had an extremely hard time to restrain the tears today. i have seldom felt more frontless and i believe if i ever feel enough, i see less and less in the world to live for, and despite of all my resolutions and reason and moral courage, and then everything else, i grow more and more weary and patient. i know it is wicked and perhaps foolish, but i cannot help it. there's not a living thing but would be better off without me. i contribute to happen is not a
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single object and often to the unhappiness of many and always my own, for i am never happy. you read this and think, who was this person? clara barton, 1852. if she had ever acted on these motions, suicidal kinds of the motions, depression, she would not have come to the eighth of all those soldiers during the civil war, the angel of the battlefield. she would not have been there to found the red cross and all the good works that that organization did during her lifetime uc and other whole life -- her lifetime. i think this helps you understand somebody's motivation, the baggage that they brought with them, do not
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just get that from the official documents that might be within the agency records. >> we will return in a moment. for more information on the library of congress, go to c- .org/libraryofcongress. >> all available to you on television, radio, online, and on social media networking sites. we take c-span on the road with content of momebile vehicles. the c-span network available now in more than 100 million homes. >> it your copy of "the
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library of congress care " is $14.95 si for the dvd. now we return to the feature documentary on the library of congress. >> my favorite part of the building is the main reading room. >> it was a wonderful setting that promoting learning and education. it was a wonderful place to work as a student. whenever you seem to be doing it
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seemed much more important. >> it makes you look up and then book, and you bu a can see the expanse, feel the inspiration, and then look up at that wonderful mural overlooking the center of the main reading room. >> 160 feet from floor to the crown of the dome ceiling, a painting looks down on the readers. >> that figure that is moving the veil of a terrance from human understanding, that is an american invention. that is not a classical statues, but it is classical cominco what reading -- classical in what reading is all about.
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>> there is a particular design element in the main reading room, and it is a sideline from the visitors' gallery. it is in that toppled the cupola. your only privileged to see her if you are in the reading room double the, engaged in active research. you're not privileged to see her if you are just a visitor. a ring of 12llar, individuals. it is no give incidents that the figure resembles abraham lincoln kerry >> the effect of the mural is to say, we in america, basically the future is ours, as we thank you, we are looking
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ahead. >> some of the light in the room comes through stained glass windows, but these are no ordinary windows. here amidst european designs, the imprint of america has been sent. >> there are 48 states and territories, but a number of them were territories in 1897. in each of the big semicircle windows, there are seals of the states, flanking the field of the u. s. you have eight allegorical female figures in plaster at the upper level of the reading room, representing the highest percent of the human mind. philosophy, history kama, law, and then at the balustrade, the
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next level down, you have bronze statues, two in each bay. they relate to the female figure above as a triangle, so if you see two runs statue's neck to each other, they do not relate to each other. they relate the female figure beside them. art is flanked by michelangelo, representing architecture, and beethoven, representing music. the other feature that a lot of
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is the greats clock. it's not just to tell you what time it is. it is to invite you to be mindful of your time and use it well, and we're all here only for a certain period of time, and as my grandfather were to say, make hay while the sun shines. >> at the crown, at the top of the dome, over the main reading room, there is a great colden
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flame, the torch of knowledge, sometimes he is looking latin word cientia, and it is the symbol of the active mind, and you see images of actively burning flames, tortoise, lamps, all through the library, might seem odd for an institution that had two disasters fires in 1814 and 1851. it is not about to start the fire. it is about creative fire. it is to inspire. when you enter the building, as you are supposed to, as the architects and designers plan ned, you experience that the side of the building, which three archways that represent
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art, science, and literature. the most beautiful thing and especially if the light is right are those bronze doors. the rivers and their great revolutions and the transmission of human knowledge. you have writing, speech, and printing. those were the three great revolutions as a 1897. we now have a fourth, and we need an electronic door. in a semicircular area above the doors, there is a compass -- composition of a mother, child, and for men. it is a mother and a child, and that is where learning begins, and her mother bought knees -- at your mother's knees.
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this is the first house of representation of a native american in a u.s. government building. >> the italian classical mood at the library of congress building was established well before the front door. greeting visitors at the curb is the neptune fountain. >> here you have that soon, surrounded by his court, all these sea animals and beasties. washington is miserable in the summertime, and fountains are a great relief, so this is our trevi fountain, drawn from many
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sources. also symbolizing plenty and the richness of life, because water is a nurturing thing and necessary to human life. >> the neptune fountain is 140 feet long, almost one-third of the length of the entire building. making the way around the building, you will encounter some unusual looking carved faces. >> you have these astrological ahead as the keystones over the windows of the principal floor, all the way around the building. they were developed by a fellow named otis mason, the head of the bureau of ethnology at the smithsonian, and they represent the races of the world. >> there are a total of 33 after a logical hands. the official handbook said the
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work is one of the most scientifically accurate theories of racial modeling ever made. >> they could be represented at the savoy, and it would be a for free to do so, and it would be some that would frown upon today. >> there are aspects in the architecture reminiscent of european masterpieces. >> the figures in the bull's-eye windows, the circular windows in the west front, the jefferson building, probably are inspired -- where you have similar windows with the boss of composers, musicians, and when they came to do the library of congress, they adopted that motif, exit here have authors instead of composer. front and center you have benjamin franklin, who fits
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their perfectly as an author, publisher, but also may be his pride of place comes from his contribution as well as a statesman and as a scientist. but the other riders are ralph waldo emerson, washington irving, goethe, thomas macauley, nathaniel hawthorne, who published "the scarlet letter" in 1850, and sir walter scott.
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standing in front of the building in the evening, you can see the bus back with from the lights in the great hall. from the inside, the western evening sky of washington as well as the washington monument served as the backdrop. >> congress has always needed information, and when they were in philadelphia and new york, their libraries -- their work libraries criti. in washington, there was no urban life, and so what they had to do was create a library. the creation came in a bill
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signed by president adams. the first books were ordered from england. when it expanded in the 1820's, when they built the rotunda, they built the library along the entire west front between the senate and house chambers. for many years, most of the 19th century, the west front of the capital was the library of congress. >> 1814, the library of congress held 3000 volumes. >> 1812, we went to war with great britain, and in august, 1814, british troops marched into washington and burned down the capitol building. >> jarvis and read about it in the newspapers and offered to
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sell his own book collection. >> it was a magnificent collection, and jefferson needed the money, but also jefferson was an eclectic collector. he believed -- read several foreign languages. he had a huge number of books that were poetry and english literature. was very flattering to congress to do this, but he was also saying, if you are going to govern this new country, you need to have a box on all subjects. that created some controversy. in the house there was debate whether the government needed books on a portrait. is this what we should be spending money on? >> part of it was opposition to jefferson himself. there were people who would just not vote for it because it came from jefferson. >> in the end, the house voted to buy jarvis and's library,
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6487 volumes for just under $24,000. >> 187 become converts the the best thing it every did when it passed the newly expanded copyright act. it was a requirement that every new books that needed to be copyrighted needs to send two copies of a library. the library of congress grows enormously starting in 1870. they still have the same amount of space. books are stacked up in the aisles and on top of desks, and in their rooms. >> by 1872, the library had 246,000 volumes, and no more to keep them. at times to get the library building of its own failed. it may have been the young country cost desire to outshine europe that finally tipped the
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scales. >> in the years after the civil war, a lot of americans went abroad. as they traveled and saw the magnificent buildings that existed in other countries, they had a national pride that they brought back. they wanted a building that showed the american commitment to education and knowledge. when they came back after their tours, they were at two to building a grantors structure then there was before. >> a previously held design competition was reopened, and the congressional debate began. >> it brings together people from different backgrounds who look things very differently. the team was a very good example of what you could get in the 19th century. they were as unlike any two people serving.
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an anti-slavery men, where as vorhees was a jacksonian, he had been a copperhead during the war. they served on the committee on the library, and the one thing they shared in common was lot of books and knowledge. they both believed he needed to have a proper library for americans and congress, and they carried their colleagues along with them. >> 1886, kerr cleveland signed a bill authorizing the building. construction began the following year. the architect was thomas lincoln casey. >> he is famous in washington for getting us out two architectural masses,
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completing buildings that had fallen behind schedule or have problems. one was the old executive office building. the most famous achievement was completing the washington monument, which had stood unfinished since the 1850's's, when construction stopped. a national embarrassment. >> general casey was successful with the library of congress. as shown here in these photographs, taken by the nephew of mathew brady. the outside of the building completed at the end of 1893. general casey brought in his son edward to design the interior.
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>> they did not have the idea of adding these american decorators until the building was practically finished. they started assembling the teams up artists, sculptors, decorative artists. it is done between 1892 and 1897, this huge decorative program, and part of the reason they were able to do that is one of these artists are coming right out of working at the world's columbian exposition in chicago, where they had to creigh this amazing white city from plaster and what ever in no time. they learned to almost triage in terms of creating these remarkable combination of architecture, painting, and sculptor. >> the building was finally opened in early 1890's 7.
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in the end it consisted of 400,000 cubic feet of granite, 3,000 tons of steel, and 70,000 barrels of cement. >> one of the things that appeal to congress was general casey out-europed europe. >> a lot of people think that the library of congress is our paris opera. what happens with the jefferson building of the library of congress was it becomes an emblem of what we can do, that we are players on the world costs cultural scene -- world's cultural scene. when given the choice in the
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1880's of a $3 million version of the library, congress went for the $6 million version. one wonders if they would today. >> we are standing in the entrance to the exhibition that features the riga assertion of jefferson's book collection. this is a very famous collection in colonial america, and especially after his presidency, it was common for people to efferson's r. just collection. it was double the next largest collection. it was a sight to behold in a private home. this is the 18th century. although there are american immigrants, we're not swimming publications in america. many of them come from europe. it takes somebody like
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jefferson, the training, language, the opportunity to be in europe and bring materials back, that made this so large. he designed a library that would allow him to sit at the center of a circle and organize it into 44 deford chapters and subject, built around the notion that he had pulled from the alignment of memory, reason, and imagination. these are examples of his approach to self-education. this is a collective work of passages in latin that has been broken apart by a bookbinder and interweaved translation of the same work and then rebound. judges and created his own bilingual passages -- jefferson created his own bilingual passages so he could learn spanish. we move into modern history, modern american history, so imagination because of architecture, landscape
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architecture, and then painting, poetry, prose, ending with chapter 44, which is polygraphical dictionary. the entire pamphlet campaign prior to the revolution is there, and much of the discussion about the constitution with madison and adams. library is part of the rare book collection. >> the gutenberg bible as one of our prized possession. it was the first example of printing with a metal type. >> the bible is the moment when we moved away from the medieval
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world and we look forward to the renaissance. >> it is one of the first items to greet visitors. another famous bible is the one that president lincoln used at his inauguration. >> it was acquired by clark of the court. the reason is lincoln was on his way moving to washington, and was moving in transit. >> president obama was useed ths bible at his inauguration. >> representative -- as to use a efferson's jus
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collection. >> lincoln was carrying a small what it contains numerous news clippings, some positive, some-, e negative, it is a moment in his life where these questions, if he have been further south from washington in the days previous, said a souvenir, to be carried with him, to remind him of the struggle these questions at the vault, and it marks the moment of his assassination in the way that his life a few months previous in his presidency, when the conflict seem resolved. the life mask was done by a man who had among other things
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developed a technique that made it more comfortable to sit under a plaster, something that allowed the process this leadup. >> rare books collection contains in many literary items, including collections of walt whitman and henry david thoreau. >> whitman met with thoreau once. meeting had been arranged in brooklyn by a mutual friend. whitman had published a second edition of "leaves of grass." thoreau is on tail of discovering a work of his son had not been selling well. >> they went for a walk. copy ofnd in whitman's
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for wrote a note that says, i met thoreau in brooklyn, and we had a lovely walk along the water. he seemed in good health and talk about the work that he was doing. i gave him a copy of my "leaves of grass." and he gave me this. and i found this second edition of whitman with a box that said "thoreau's copy." handwriting is very faint. it is when i turned around and noticed k thoreau but, that is when i opened to discover this very grave diaz signature and a long passage, and it took a
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minute to realize that sitting across from each other in the shelves of the library of congress were the actual boscs that had exchanged hands between wegman and for road that day. they were there, waiting to meet each other again. >> what did that mean to you? >> it is a recognition of time and an important moment of american poetry where books exchange hands. i am reminded of time and the experience of people of great struggle, the fortitude of materials that have survived. standing right here, next to codex ministers from the 14th,
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and then downries, the line of every book about abraham lincoln. there are millions of stories floating through this a vault. sometimes very poetic, said, monday in. the third reich collection came to the library at the end of world war ii. there was an allied commission that took on responsibility of dealing with materials that had been captured nazis. the objective was to return to rightful owners materials that had been stolen. books that clearly were part of
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hitler's own world came to the congress and are seen as the third reich collection. i wanted to look at it for many reasons. one was the pervasiveness of the movement that had actually gotten to the point that "mein kampf" had been translated into a braille text. to understand what is being documented here by him, but those that surrounded him, those that were managing his administration. >> the work of the preservation division. >> they are also very fragile, so we have a large conservation division here, as long as a
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preservation reformat think the vision, as well as a division devoted to bindings and collections care. >> we have a responsibility to save books that are hundreds of years old, many of which that have specific requirements as to how they are to be stored. we have responsibility to save materials that are endangered. >> we have to do intervention work, like an operation on a collection, so we have a conservation division. >> are in the collections recovery room. what we do here is stabilize the materials so we do not have a problem that is going to grow. >> you might see it as a triage area in a hospital, if something is wet, before we can do anything to it, we can use a freezer to stop time so it is not wet.
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>> besides freezing, there is also backing. -- vaccuming. >> this collection came into a ld on it.ith smo;ld >> one of the types of treatment is the washing of a document. how can you watch a document? >> this is a page from one of chocolaten hu's exercise books a. we're using a solution to remove the adhesive that was applied to it in 1898 as a preservation measure. it is important we do this because while this materials
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were good quality when applied, time has not been kind to them. >> now we are going to give the enzymes a few minutes to do their job. there is no water coming into contact with the manuscript at this time. you can see the silk is coming up pretty easily. the enzyme has done its work. now we are shifting over to bbing that the we
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supports the what document -- the wet document, and then it is into the wash bath. eliza is draining the last drops away before she places the page into the second wash bath. it will be removed, drained briefly, and then placed between fresh polyester web, and between the same kind of felt paper makers use when they tried to paper that is made. >> to more sophisticated means allow scientists to look closer at the library's writer items and find out more about them. >> the door is open and it is a
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microscope that uses the electrons to make images. and like a light magnus -- microscope, this can go up to 100,000 times magnification. we can see tiny particles of ink and how fibers and paper relate to each other. we can get this information without doing any damage to the document. >> these technologies have an extraordinary opportunities for us to investigate materials at a level we have never been able to before. >> the library's top traders. we oversee these materials because we had a vault because we keep them in an optimum
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environment. we can see if we can find unique identifiers and special collections, and in doing this process, it has been an active discovery for us. -- thisographs of the ha way we can put minimal light, so we are seeing things beyond what you can see when you look at something in normal light thing, things that are hidden from us. >> one of the documents analyzed is that it is for address -- is the gettysburg address. >> we found impressions of a thelma and three fingers. this is the page that he wrote
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on the way to gettysburg on the train. >> these could be the fingerprints of abraham lincoln. >> we should be able to take dna from that print. jefferson's first draft of the declaration of independence. >> in looking at the manuscript, we saw an area that was slightly blurred, and our scientists looking at this more closely began to speculate that what looked like a smudge under the might be a word in an of itself, that jefferson chose to obliterate, possibly in while the team was still wet. we were speculating on what this word might be.
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. might it be "patriot?" o have aere fortunate tha tour, where we asked observers, what do you think this might be? one of the people of the tour said it looked like the word subjects. a chill went through all of us because it seemed so logical that this was the moment that severs it might have changed his mind with the realization that we were no longer subjects. just speculating is not good enough. we had the task to convince the examination to see if we could confirm this, and by doing continued in the laboratory examination, i think we have as it turnsled it.'
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out, this entire section is not even in the declaration of independence. >> more critical to the library today is to get as much of its content digitized and online. >> the division overall has nearly 50 million items, and we have nearly 1.25 million items online already. >> we have taken a practical approach. where not a high-end graphics arts house. are using this detesting to get as many pictures as possible online. online. >>


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